The digital environment is becoming increasingly important across most aspects of children’s lives, including during times of crisis, as societal functions, including education, government services and commerce, progressively come to rely upon digital technologies. It affords new opportunities for the realization of children’s rights, but also poses the risks of their violation or abuse. - UNCRC GC.25
Arguably there is a cause to be worried about this new community because the speed at which internet penetration is going does not measure up to the level of provision to support effective participation of children in the community. One of the main concerns stem from the fact that a number of pre-existing community support structures for children are of limited functionality due to the lack of the understanding of how digital works by actors, lack of infrastructure at school level rendering most schools nonfunctional during the pandemic and issues around digital divides hence the need to review the pre-existing community routine and resources.
Why do we need community-based structure?
- To identify vulnerable girls and boys in communities eligible for case management services provided by a child protection agency.
- To sensitize communities and raise awareness on children’s rights and protection.
-To mobilize community-level activity to realize children’s rights and protection.
Child Online Africa believes that raising of successful children who would be of immense support to the society in accomplishing tasks requires the commitment and contributions of the entire society. Therefore, if the community structures are well positioned to support parents in their quest to raising children, the whole community benefits from these children and so do the nation.
COA’s call as Ghana commemorates National Children’s Day is a reminder to all child protection stakeholders to prioritize digital in their risk and resource mapping so the community will be able to indicate the priorities of protection concerns by children themselves and also have a sense of the perpetrators of violence against children in the community.